Yvonne Lu, PhD, RN, FGSA

Yvonne Lu, PhD, RN, FGSA

Science of Nursing Care
Associate Professor

Contact Information

Email: yuelu@iu.edu
Phone: 317-278-2042
Nursing W407, Indianapolis


Postdoctoral Fellowship, Indiana University
PhD, Case Western Reserve University
MSN, Wright State University
BSN, Bethel College


Dr. Lu is currently an associate professor at Indiana University School of Nursing, a Regenstrief Affiliated Scientist, Indiana University Center for Aging Research, and a member of the NIA-funded Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center (IADC, P30AG010133-22) and work with interdisciplinary scientists in the Clinical and Outreach/Recruitment Cores. She developed and led a program of research focused on positive health, strength-based and family-center interventions to improve the engagement in meaningful activities, functional performance, and quality life of older adults with cognitive impairment and their family caregivers. The idea that knowledge of individuals' strengths and meaningful activity engagement, and the ways patients positively adjust their memory problems with family support are potentially useful to guide interventions to assist those who are at risk for poor adjustment, premature disability, and poor outcomes. Her intervention is to address the understudied need of reducing risk of premature disability for older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) using a positive health approach. Recently, She received the McWhirter Intership/Fellowship and Training funds (7/1/2018 to 6/30/2019) to adapt her interdisciplinary research program, Daily Engagement in Meaningful Activity (DEMA) intervention to improve the lives of MCI patients and their family caregivers in senior living facilities.

External Funding

P30AG010133-22 (2011-2016) To recruit, clinically characterize, and longitudinally follow patients with mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's disease, non-Alzheimer's disease, mixed dementia and healthy controls, and identify clinically characterize families (Co-I).

McWhirter Training Fund (2018-2019). Translate a home-based daily engagement in meaningful activity intervention to a long-term care -based intervention (Fellowship).

Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society, Alpha Chapter, Research Grant (2018-2019).Physical and Psychological Effects of Qigong Exercise in Community-Dwelling (Co-I).

Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) NIH, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences and the Indiana State Department of Health (2015-2016). Engagement and Quality of Life in Under Represented Older Adults (Co-I).

1R21NR013755-01 (2012-2015) Meaningful activity intervention for persons with mild cognitive impairment (PI).

1k01 NR010854-01 (2008-2010) Improving care of persons with cognitive impairment and their caregivers (PI).

P30AG10133 NIH, NIA, Indiana Alzheimer Disease Center (2004-2006) A phenomenological study: Couples' living experiences of mild cognitive impairment (Co-I).

Selected Publications

Hood, S., Lu, Y., Jenkins, K., Brown, E. Beaven, J. Brown, S. Hendrie, H, & Austrom, M. G. (2018). Exploration of perceived psychological benefits of senior companion program participation among urban-dwelling, low-income older adult women volunteers, Journal of Innovations in Aging; 2(2): 1-12. Doi:10.1093/geroni/igy018.

Ellis, JL, Altenburger, P., & Lu, Y. (2017). Change in depression, confidence and physical function among older adults with mild cognitive impairment”. Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy. E1-E8. Oct. DOI: 10.1519/JPT.0000000000000143.

Lu, Y. YF. Bakas, T., Yang, Z., Stump, T., Weaver, M. T., & Austrom, G. M., & Haase, J. E. (2016) Feasibility and Effect Sizes of the Revised Daily Engagement of Meaningful Activities Intervention for Persons with Mild Cognitive Impairment and Their Caregivers, The Journal of the Gerontological Nursing. 42(3): 45-58. Special Issue: Nonpharmacological Interventions for individuals with dementia. DOI: 10.3928/00989134-20160212-08. NIHMSID 768562.

Lu, Y. YF. Ellis, J. E., Yang, Z., Weaver, M. T., Bakas, T., Austrom, G. M., & Haase, J. E. Satisfaction with a family-focused intervention for mild cognitive impairment dyads (2016). Journal of Nursing Scholar on January, 48(4): 334-344. July 2016; DOI: 10.1111/jnu.12214, NIHMS802507.

Lu, Y. YF & Austrom, M. G.  Book Chapter: “Disease Awareness, Cognitive Decline, & Communication in Persons with Mild Cognitive Impairment & Caregivers” in the book titled: “Psychosocial Studies of the Individual's Changing Perspectives in Alzheimer's Disease.” IGI Global, Irvine, CA, [In press]. 

Austrom, M. G., Lu, Y-F, Perkins, A. J., Boustani, M., Callahan, C. M., & Hendrie, H. C. (2014). Impact of non-caregiving related stressors on informal caregiver outcomes. American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias. NIHMS572151; DOI: 10.1177/1533317513518652. (NIHMS572151) published online on January 9, 2014).

Austrom, M. G., Lu, Y, Hendrie, H. C. (2013). Family care for elders with dementia.  In EA Capezuti, ML Malone, P R. Katz, M Mezey (Eds). The Encyclopedia of elder care:  The comprehensive resource on geriatric and social care (Third Ed,).  New York:  Springer. Springer Publishing Company, p. 286–289.

Lu, Y-F., Bakas, T. M., & Haase, J. E. (2013). Cost template for meaningful activity intervention for mild cognitive impairment, Clinical Nurse Specialist: The International Journal for Advanced Nursing Practice, 27(2): 88-95. NIHMS433286, PMC3636762, Doi:10.1097/NUR.0b013e3182819171.

Lu, Y-F, Haase, J. E., & Weaver, M. T. (2013). Pilot testing a couples-focused Intervention for mild cognitive impairment. The Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 51(5), 16-23. NIHMS567658.

Austrom M. G., Dickinson, S. L. J., Denny. S. S., Matthews, B. R., Gao. S. & Lu, Y. (2011). Frontotemporal dementia caregivers and researchers: Partnering for brain donation. American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease & Other Dementia, 26(6), 477-483.  doi:  10.1177/1533317511424278